About a month ago, Tiril Eckhoff announced the end of her biathlon career. Now the Norwegian is returning to the cross-country ski run. But without a gun. On Sunday, the 32-year-old will compete with some of the best cross-country skiers in the world in a traditional marathon race.
Although her active biathlon career is officially over, Tiril Eckhoff cannot yet completely leave the sport behind. And so the two-time Olympic champion will return to the cross-country ski trail on Sunday and start at the 30th anniversary of the traditional Svalbard ski marathon.
In the race over 42 kilometers Eckhoff will compete with some of the best cross-country skiers in the world. Among others, overall World Cup winner Tiril Udnes Weng and relay world champion and defending champion Anne Kjersti Kalvå are also at the start.
The race on Spitsbergen has been held since 1993 and is celebrating its 30th birthday this year. The marathon in the Arctic wilderness is geographically considered the northernmost in the world. Because, among other things, there is a risk of a polar bear attack, the route is secured by armed security forces.
Tiril Eckhoff had to end her active biathlon career this year after missing the entire World Cup season. First, the Norwegian suffered from the consequences of a corona infection for a long time, then she was plagued by severe sleep disorders.
Although she tried again and again last winter to start training. But her body did not react to the high stress as she had hoped. And so she too decided to put the rifle in the corner once and for all. Alongside Marte Olsbu Røiseland and Denise Herrmann-Wick, she was the most prominent and successful biathlete to retire this year.